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Loft conversion requires heavy fire doors! Am worried about tiny fingers being trapped!!!

(19 Posts)
MsBump Thu 19-Jul-12 08:51:56

Anyone else had a loft conversion done recently? We've been told that you have to have fire doors throughout your house if you turn it into a three story dwelling. People I know put fire doors on for council inspection and then took them off afterwards but have also been told you would invalidate your insurance if you do this and you happen to have a fire!! It seems the most insane rule particularly when the majority of people having conversions are families and therefore would find heavy firedoors a liability.
Would love to hear what others have done when they have young children.

oreocrumbs Thu 19-Jul-12 09:15:44

You can buy hinge guards and slam stoppers. These will allow you to keep proper fire doors but stop little fingers getting jammed. There is a better slam stop than I linked to, or perhaps so that you wouldn't invalidate your insurance you could put a slow closer arm on. Like you have in public places, they allow doors to close fully, but if someone slams them they stop at a distance that will leave adult fingers safe and then slow close from there.

reluctanttownie Thu 19-Jul-12 09:56:04

We did a loft conversion 2 years ago and also had to put fire doors in. They're not heavy at all! You wouldn't know the difference between them and a normal door. Ours are traditional style 4 panel doors so they look exactly like normal doors too. Hinges are the same sort you would hang a normal door with and they don't work any differently or increase any risk of small fingers being trapped. Honestly, not a problem in the slightest. They're very different from institutional type fire doors (schools, hospitals etc) with the heavy force-close mechanisms.
You can leave them ajar/full open etc just like a normal door (which makes a mockery of the rule, because everyone just leaves them open all the time as you do with a normal door, so they'd be useless if a fire did start.)

We know people who put them in to pass the building regs inspection and then took them off again, but that was because they wanted antique stripped pine doors, not because the fire doors were impractical.

Unless rules have changed radically in the last 2 years, it's not a problem at all.

CuddyMum Thu 19-Jul-12 10:04:33

The doors look just like regular doors but are better quality as they are solid wood. There is no longer a requirement for self-closers - now they were dangerous!

minceorotherwise Thu 19-Jul-12 10:09:10

spotty26 Thu 19-Jul-12 19:43:20

Our fire doors in the loft we have just done are normal weight.

shhhgobacktosleep Thu 19-Jul-12 19:54:49

Our loft conversion is less than a year old and yes you must have fire doors but as others have said they don't look or feel any different to normal doors - infact our beautiful original doors were probably heavier. The idea behind them is that they would give you longer in a safe compartment than non fire doors until help reached you. We also had to have intumescent strips fitted around the doors before building regs would sign off. We always have all the doors closed at night so if the need arose the fire protective measures would do their jobs. Infact, even before the conversion ALL doors were closed at night, after fire training for work over the years, I couldn't sleep for fear if they weren't.

Pendeen Thu 19-Jul-12 23:53:28

A FD30 fire door is not particularly heavy.

With finger guards fitted they are quite safe.

suchnonsense Fri 20-Jul-12 00:04:51

We've just had a loft conversion, and we didn't have fire doors put in throughout. Instead we put in mains powered linked smoke/heat detectors in every room. You can choose that instead to pass building regs. I'd rather have them anyway, as we rarely close any doors in our house so fire doors would be wasted.

GooseRocks Fri 20-Jul-12 00:36:40

Domestic firedoors are not heavy - won't be a problem OP. We have one between garage and utility. It's fine.

Glittertwins Fri 20-Jul-12 15:40:34

Our fire doors are heavier, solid version of normal doors. They have extra bits inside the architrave to act as a more airtight seal in event of a fire which should keep the fire out by 30 mins.
Maybe building regs differ on area as we had to have fire doors on every habitable room (exc bathrooms). We have mains powered smoke detectors on each floor too.
It sounds like you are thinking of industrial heavy metal hinges where it is not possible to keep a door open unless something props it open.

PorkyandBess Fri 20-Jul-12 17:34:19

Fire doors do not have to have closers fitted anymore, apart from in special locations ie between house and garage.

They do however require 3 hinges as they're heavier, and they need intumescent strips.

Some local authorities will now accept hard wired smoke alarms in every room as an alternative.

Tansie Fri 20-Jul-12 18:44:42

A question- I am looking into a garage conversion which would allow me to 'dispense' with the fire door from the current garage to the hall. It looks just like all the other doors in the house (except some tit has glued polystyrene blocks all over the garage side of it!!) but is obvs 'heavier', has 3 hinges and a chain self closer.

I need to rehang the door inwards. Could I reuse this door, stripped of its polystyrene and self closer? Would it be obvious?

Tansie Fri 20-Jul-12 20:00:39

You know what? I just did. I stripped the poly blocks off the inside of the door, had to use a blade to skim off the glue... and now I shall save myself some ££ by reusing it! Also safe in the knowledge that it will be shut at night and it is a fire door.

Glittertwins Fri 20-Jul-12 20:15:44

I would have thought that since it was an existing door, you could do what you wanted. We replaced our stair handrail. Since it was replacing the original manky effort, we could position the new one exactly where the old one was. If there had never been a handrail before, it had to be a certain height from the steps. Whatever the height is, it would have been too high for our children (2 yrs old at the time) to reach and safely get downstairs. How this could have been proven is another matter though

Boondoggle Fri 24-Aug-12 10:11:57

Does this also apply to loft conversions that have been done years ago?

I bought my house 6 years ago with the loft conversion already done. Am planning to sell next year but as far as I can see, we just have regular doors. Will I need to get special doors to sell?

TalkinPeace2 Fri 24-Aug-12 21:57:46

A Fire door is ONLY a fire door (as per the regs) when closed
but with no requirement for them to be fitted with closers in houses
if left open they are not technically fire doors any more
hence I refused to change my doors and am waiting till the regs change (yet again)

boondoggle - if you bought it with regs sign off that is that

mcneishloftsoflondon Mon 13-May-13 19:13:24

It is true that there is a requirement for fire doors on habitable rooms, not bathrooms. You might be able to avoid this if you put a sprinkler in the hall (though this comes with it's obvious risks! - check with building control).
Alternatively, Howdens do some aesthetically pleasing oak firedoors @ approx £160 per door. Cost effective as they're varnished rahter than painted.
They are heavy but you can put perko closers, extra hinges.
Best of Luck,

McNeish Lofts

CuddyMum Mon 13-May-13 20:13:25

Old thread!

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